[Protest of Forest Service Contract Award]

B-213028: Feb 28, 1984

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

A firm protested a Forest Service contract award for road construction. The contracting officer had amended the solicitation to postpone the bid opening date because he feared that a short advertising period had restricted competition. Only the protester's bid had been received by the original bid opening date and that remained unopened until the extended bid opening date. The protester contended that the contracting officer should have opened its bid as originally scheduled to determine whether the price was reasonable. If its price was unreasonably high, the solicitation could then have been canceled and rebid. The protester also contended that Federal Procurement Regulations (FPR) do not allow a contracting officer to refuse to open bids received at the time set for bid opening. GAO stated that the FPR clearly authorize the amendment of a solicitation when it becomes necessary to change the opening date. Furthermore, it found that it was necessary in this case because the contracting officer feared that the bid period allowed was insufficient to permit full competition. Accordingly, the protest was denied.